You might remember the meaning of the character 本 with this easy mnemonic:
This character means a <strong>origin</strong>. Do you know what the origin of paper is and how much paper <strong>one</strong> (一) <strong>tree</strong> (木) can produce? No? Me neither.
Using mnemonics to remember the meaning of Chinese characters like has a huge impact on how long to learn Mandarin it takes.